The Chinese Mountaineering Association (CMA) has announced a major spike in the cost of obtaining a permit for Mt.Everest and other 8000m peaks. This move which has been speculative since quite some time, was finally announced last week. The new prices for Everest are as follows:
Per Foreign Climber
Per Nepalese Sherpa
^ For 8000m peaks, PAX less than 4 persons are not permitted
Similarly, there has been a steep price increase for the other mountains which are climbed from Tibet: Cho-Oyu & Shishapangma.
As one can see, there is a substantial increase in the price across all major options. How much will this affect from people climbing the Big E from the North Side, only the upcoming season will tell. As for Cho-Oyu, an alternate route from the Nepalese side may be opened from Spring-2020. And the person doing this is the superman Nirmal ‘Nims Dai’ Purja. Whether Cho-Oyu will be as convenient to climb from the south side, we will only know once it’s done. For Shishapangma, the only 8000er that totally lies within Tibet, there seems to be no other way round.
We all know the Chinese pretty well and it’s highly unlikely that the decision will be reversed. Hence, let’s look at the positive scenarios on the North Side of Mt.Everest:
Fewer people on the mountain
Better logistics and contingency handling capability
May keep the low cost operators away. And since these are the ones who mostly bring in the inexperienced climbers to the mountain, such climbers will not be able to climb.
But, again the lure of ‘Mt.Everest’ has been legendary. Will this price hike keep people really at bay? Only the season will tell. Until then, we hope everyone who has been aiming for Everest-2020 are putting in the sweat and getting super ready! All the best!!